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Your CLC Success Story

Edwin Cruz
Highland Park High School

(Class of 2013)


Degree or certificate program at CLC: A.A.S. in Automotive Technology, Under the Hood Technician.

Hometown: Born in Honduras; came to Chicago six years ago.

High school: Highland Park High School, class of 2013.

Interests and hobbies: Reading, soccer, working out, bowling and shooting pool.

When I moved from Honduras to Chicago six years ago, at age 14, I couldn’t speak a word of English. I started learning English in high school, but I really appreciated the English as a Second Language classes at CLC. One course had mostly younger students who were my age, had a sense of humor and helped make the class fun. Another course had mostly older adult students who were good examples to follow, and the instructor, Joyce Gatto, was nice.

Jim Nicholson, automotive technology instructor, has been very helpful. He was my instructor for Introduction to Automotive Technology, and he not only answered my questions about car engines, he advised me about classes and career choices, too.

I’m a handy guy, and I like to fix and run cars. CLC’s automotive lab offers really great, hands-on learning. Eventually, I would like to own three repair shops: one here in Chicago, one in California, which has lots of cars, and one in Honduras, where I can help family members who are still living there. What I like about the United States is the freedom to do things I love. My future is going to be good.

In my Fundamentals of Speech class, a 55-year-old guy shared his story. I learned two important lessons from him: Never give up and think before doing.

I would tell a new CLC student to be open to learning new things. In the spring 2015 semester, I’m taking a class in introductory Italian, a language that I didn’t expect to learn. But it’s a fun, really cool language and it’s closely related to Spanish.